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Book Reviews: Empire of Dust + Her + Mindshadow + The Children Of Old Leech, part 1

Empire Of Dust by Jacey Bedford
Psi-techs, mega corporations, colonies, ideological conflicts and sex. This is Book 1 of a series. While it starts out well, it rapidly goes downhill with soap opera, clichéd plots and a platinum craving. I felt at best indifferent to this novel which is full of people who don’t act like people and whom speak in harsh, scornful, dismissive tones.

Best Line:
“She’s out on Romanov, with a baby and an alpaca farmer and that’s where she intends to stay.”

~
Her by Harriet Lane
This ‘exquisitely sinister psychological thriller’ is nothing of the sort and the plot is not remotely credible. Nina ‘befriends’ frazzled mother Emma with fraudulent intent. She wants to punish Emma for some unknown sin and she carries on like the baddie in a ‘Bunty’ comic whilst Emma is unaware and credulous. The ‘horrifying’ finale where all is revealed is ridiculous. Nina’s ‘motive’ is pathetic and her grand scheme is ludicrously out of proportion. This was a waste of my time.

Best Lines:
“Biker fights in the car park on Saturday night.”

“Teenage girls, they’re worse than the Borgias.”

“The demoralised-looking bras in dishwasher shades dangling there like pale bats.”

“The vanishing of personality.”

~
Star Trek #27: Mindshadow by J.M. Dillard
From the author of ‘Bloodthirst’ and ‘Resistance’ comes this inept 1986 novel. It is written as if the author has never seen or doesn’t actually like ‘Star Trek’. Kirk and co violate the prime directive and Spock suffers a mysterious brain injury. The impaired Spock is treated as a really bad kid who has lost his passing privilege. In fact Spock is so toxic he is kicked off the Enterprise. Meanwhile Kirk and McCoy fight over a woman to create even more social complications. This has no realness and everyone acts out of character. Clockable Romulan agents run around, people are convicted on their morals and everyone is an idiot. This was terrible.

~
The Children Of Old Leech edited by Ross E. Lockhart and Justin Steele, part 1
This is a tribute to the ‘carnivorous cosmos’ of Laird Barron.

Foreword:
“There are frightful things. We who crawl in the dark love you.”

The Harrow
A woman digs in the garden and uncovers mythical horrors. Excellent.

Best Lines:
“Never trust anything that comes out of a hole.”

“Those other things she’d uncovered, the ones she’d never bring inside.”

Pale Apostle
A woman is targeted by an inherently wrong thing but her non-acceptance changes when she owns her power. This was maddeningly obtuse.

Walpurgisnacht
Decadent types are open bait. I didn’t know how to process this.

Learn To Kill
I’ve no idea what this was about.

Good Lord, Show Me The Way
This is an email discussion of a students PhD thesis on cults. The ivory tower snideness causes them to ignorantly overlook the horrible hints of what is going on. Very good.

Best Line:
“Far away in the deep forest, and they’re living their lives in some way long obsolete, worshipping some way weirder idea of God than you’ve ever heard of in your life.”

Snake Wine
An inauthentic man deserves to be in hell and does. Or something. Dull.

Love Songs From The Hydrogen Jukebox
Hopheads go looking for meaning and find something old. Good.

The Old Pageant
A couple go to an old family cabin in the woods. The meaning of an old family spook story becomes clear. Very good.

Notes For “The Barn In The Wild”
A writer retraces the path of a lost soul who died mysteriously in the wilderness. It all leads to a barn in the deep dark woods. Excellent.

Firedancing
A decadent type acts in suspicion arousing fashion. Okay.

The Golden Stars At Night
A woman on a ranch has a duty or something. Dull.

The Last Crossroads On A Calendar Of Yesterdays
A man with a dark past is unhappy with his neighbours and their nefarious intentions. So he has a terrible idea to deal with them. Very good with tragic intensity.

Best Lines:
“There are hells beneath the hells.”

“If there had been a Loki, he would have injured himself laughing at what they believe.”
Tags: 2nd hand book store find, book review, star trek
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